Category Archives: conflict minerals

EV Parking Bay

Has Glencore given electric vehicles the extra push to engineer cobalt out of a battery?

Is cobalt becoming its own worst enemy? Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence explores Glencore’s latest move to pull hydroxide supply from the market in the midst of contract negotiating season and what it means for cobalt’s strained relationship with cathode, battery and electric vehicle (EV) producers.


On Tuesday 6 November, the wires and social media channels were lit up with a seemingly significant piece of cobalt news: Glencore had pulled 1,472 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide from the market.… Read more

Do DRC politics spell further price rises for Cobalt? Why 19 December is a date to mark…

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has initiated its cobalt coverage and anticipates to begin monthly price assessments for cobalt chemicals used in lithium ion battery cathodes by Q1 2017.

For more information contact Caspar Rawles, Analyst, [email protected] (@CDMRawles


Political rumblings in the DRC may have a major impact on the price of cobalt.

It has been well documented that Joseph Kabila, the country’s president, is trying to make changes to the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.… Read more

Cobalt supply tightens as battery demand looms

Political tensions amidst the wider slump in global commodity markets, look set to continue the onslaught on cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) moving into H2 2016.

Cobalt production in the DRC, home to over 60% of the world’s mined output, is estimated to have fallen by over 20% in Q1 2016 in reaction to falling copper prices.

Now, as battery consumers begin to increase efforts to lock in cobalt chemical supplies for production expansions due to begin as early as next year, the country faces more upheaval as political pressures rise on the incumbent leader, President Joseph Kabila.… Read more

Cobalt & conflict minerals: The need for supply chain leaders

Michael Gibb, Global Witness //

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. Or so goes an old proverb.

It is also the best time to start thinking seriously about sourcing minerals responsibly.

In recent years the links between conflict, human rights abuses and the minerals trade have been increasingly well documented and understood. While some conflicts are fought over control of mineral resources, others have deeper roots, but are still intensified and prolonged by the cash and economic incentives the trade can provide.… Read more

Cobalt brings tech giants’ supply chains into the spotlight

A new report by Amnesty International has uncovered human rights abuses by one of the world’s leading cobalt producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd, a mining group partly owned by the Chinese government, has been accused of selling cobalt sourced from child labor into major battery production facilities in China, Japan and South Korea.

From these facilities, batteries were traced into the supply chains of major technology and auto companies including Apple, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen, among others.… Read more

Europe’s conflict minerals conundrum

The EU will have to tread carefully when considering which minerals and countries to include in its upcoming conflict minerals legislation.

Many of these industries are niche and inflexible meaning any swift and significant change will likely have a negative impact on the EU and on the source country that the legislation is designed to clean up.

For example, the Democratic Republic of Congo relies heavily on income from mining copper, tin, tantalum and cobalt. Not all raw materials exported from the Congo, or central Africa for that matter, are associated with armed rebel groups.… Read more

Benchmark #2 launched: Europe’s conflict crackdown

Download our Q2 magazine which analyses the crackdown on conflict minerals in Europe, the fragile structure of these markets and the logistics involved in transporting them around the world

With Europe set to follow in US footsteps with the introduction of conflict mineral legislation, the sustainability of critical mineral markets is set to come under renewed scrutiny.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence‘s Q2 magazine examines two of the most critical mineral markets – cobalt and rare earths – as well as the industry which provides their crucial link from mine to market: logistics.… Read more

A new generation for critical minerals

It is not easy to find a tipping point: that one moment that can signify a definitive and fundamental change. In the past, true change in minerals and metals has happened over a longer period of time through a series of trends.

But where our industry stands today in 2015, these trends are becoming shorter and change is more rapid. During the past 18 months, there have been more tipping points in our industry than in the entire period since the global financial crisis of 2008.… Read more